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Mickey Friedrich

Price College of Business, Executive MBA in Energy, The University of Oklahoma website wordmark
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EMBA in Energy Alumni Spotlight: Mickey Friedrich

Headshot of Mickey Friedrich

Mickey Friedrich earned his EMBA in Energy in 2015 as a member of Cohort 1. He is co-CEO of Driftwood Energy, a Dallas-based company pursuing operated oil and gas properties in the Permian Basin.  

What was your favorite aspect of the EMBA program and why?  

My favorite aspect of the EMBA program was the group of people in my cohort. We got to know each other early and well because of the cohort format and the initial intensive week on campus. We deepened our relationships throughout the program and learned to depend on others’ strengths to accomplish more together than we could on our own. I don’t think everyone would have made it through the program without those deep relationships. Not only did we learn much more by hearing a range of perspectives and opinions daily, we also developed a network of trusted individuals in a variety of specialties. That diverse network has proven useful in the years since graduation. I don’t mean just knowing who to call to do a deal or help find a new position, although I’m sure that’s happened. I’m talking about knowing others who have deep knowledge in related but different specialties that I can call when I need a sounding board or a different perspective. I look forward to enjoying the relationships with my classmates throughout the rest of our careers. 

How has earning your EMBA affected your career?  

Earning my EMBA did not result in a promotion or any direct change in my career, but it did help to grow me into an individual who was more prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they arose. It never hurts to have a business degree, but there are many people who have them and that alone does not make the difference. More importantly, what the EMBA program provided was a solid grounding in accounting and finance, in dealing with risk and in making decisions. When it was my turn to start making decisions, I had more perspective and knowledge to rely on. I believe the EMBA has had a significant effect on my career – not because it’s on my resume, but because of the person it helped me become. 

What advice do you have for navigating change and uncertainty in today’s energy market?  

Having grown up in Oklahoma, I’ve always understood that change and uncertainty are just the status quo in oil and gas. The surprising thing is how easily we get lulled into believing things will continue to be up and to the right. Now, once again, we’re reminded of the importance of running sound companies instead of taking unnecessary risks, of diversification and hedging instead of always betting the farm, and of resisting FOMO and being willing to endure the heckling of those who don’t. It’s as important as ever to know who we are and to hold true to our values. That’s true on a personal and professional level and unfortunately, it’s too common to see people lose everything because they lose track of who they used to be in one or both arenas. We will never be able to fully mitigate the risk and volatility of the commodities markets that underpin our industry. What we can do is make decisions so that no matter what happens, we know we have done our best to weather the storms and survive the cycles. It’s not easy, but that’s why there is so much opportunity in our industry along with the risks. At the end of the day it’s who we see in the mirror that we have to live with, and those who live life with us that make the battle worth fighting. If we lose track of those things, then we have already lost. If we remain true to the person in the mirror and those we live life with, then nothing can take us down. That’s never more important to believe than today.